Faith on the Hill
Many analysts described the November 2010 midterm elections as a sea change, with Republicans taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives and narrowing the Democratic majority in the Senate. But this political overhaul appears to have had little effect on the religious composition of Congress, which is similar to the religious makeup of the previous Congress and of the nation.
The Tea Party, Religion and Social Issues
Tea Party supporters’ conservative opinions extend beyond economic matters to social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. The Tea Party also draws disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.
Religion in the News: 2010
Though still small in volume, mainstream media coverage of religion in 2010 doubled over the preceding year. Events and controversies related to Islam — especially a proposed Islamic center in New York City — dominated coverage, bumping the Catholic Church from the top spot.
Continuing Divide in Views of Islam and Violence
The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Political and ideological divisions are wide, though. Most conservatives and Tea Party supporters link Islam with violence.
Churches in Court
American religious institutions have been at the center of many legal controversies in recent years. These and related lawsuits raise complex constitutional questions that have been troubling American courts for more than a century. Are legal disputes involving churches and other religious institutions constitutionally different from those involving their secular counterparts, and if so, how?
Are Republicans Ready Now for a Mormon President?
An important group within the Republican base, white evangelical Protestants, is more uncomfortable with the idea of a Mormon candidate than are other Republicans.
Rising Restrictions on Religion
More than 2.2 billion people — nearly a third (32%) of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion — live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between mid-2006 and mid-2009.
Lobbying for the Faithful
The number of organizations engaged in religious lobbying or religion-related advocacy in Washington, D.C. has increased roughly fivefold in the past four decades, from fewer than 40 in 1970 to more than 200 today. A new study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life examines the agenda, strategy, religious affiliation and structure of 212 religious advocacy groups operating in the nation’s capital.
Romney’s Mormon Faith Likely a Factor in Primaries, Not in a General Election
About half of all voters, and 60% of evangelical Republicans, know that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. The former Massachusetts governor’s religion has implications for his nomination run, but not for the general election should he be nominated as his party’s standard bearer.
Religion and Politics: Profiles of the 2012 President Candidates and Their Beliefs
Profiles of the religious backgrounds and beliefs of the 2012 presidential candidates.